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30th September 2021 – Aistech Space and OrbAstro Announce Service Agreement for 6U Satellite Mission, Monitoring Environmental Threats with Thermal Infrared Imager

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30th September 2021 — Aistech Space SL (Aistech), a high-resolution thermal imaging service provider, has signed a contract with Orbital Astronautics Ltd (OrbAstro), a satellite and in-orbit service provider, to fly its first Guardian mission scheduled for launch in Q4 2021 onboard a SpaceX dedicated rideshare mission. The OrbAstro ORB-6 satellite platform (6U-class) will host an Aistech multi-spectral imaging payload to commence commercial services addressing markets linked to environmental sustainability.

“Our mission is to work with organizations around the world to tackle critical threats to people and the environment, and build a better, more sustainable future for the next generation,” said Guillermo Valenzuela, CEO and Co-Founder of Aistech Space. “Our Guardian satellites will provide organizations with critical information for mitigating large-scale threats, such as forest fires, water waste, pollution, and illegal activity.”
Aistech is planning to deploy a constellation of 20 thermal-enabled satellites. This will be one of the first commercial constellations able to collect high-resolution thermal infrared data on demand. Information captured by Aistech’s multispectral telescope will support decision-making in the public and private sector.

“Aistech is targeting a wide-open market and we are excited to see what they achieve. To meet surging demand from companies like Aistech Space, aspiring towards large constellations to provide their services, we at OrbAstro are scaling up our satellite production throughput,” said Dr Ash Dove-Jay, CEO of OrbAstro. “Beyond this, the orbital data relay service we are building will add value to the Aistech constellation as it grows, by greatly reducing latency of the downlink of their imaging data.”

OrbAstro is highly vertically integrated, having built all subsystems and satellite platforms from the ground up. This has allowed the company to compress costs and lead-times substantially. Their ORB-class platforms specifically designed to address the constellation markets, are state-of-the-art, with Ultrascale+ and LPDDR4 based onboard computing, electric propulsion, full attitude determination and control system with dual star-trackers, S-band transceiver, and optical communications terminal as standard.

About Aistech

Aistech Space is a global space technology company that combines its expertise in geospatial analysis with its own constellation of small satellites and supporting infrastructure to provide solutions that help clients manage their assets and monitor environmental threats. Aistech Space leverages its strategic space capabilities (remote bidirectional communications, air traffic monitoring, and thermal infrared remote sensing) to help our customers make better, data-driven decisions.  

For more information visit https://aistechspace.com/

About OrbAstro

Orbital Astronautics Ltd is a United Kingdom and New Zealand based space technology company focused on providing “space as a service”, supporting companies looking to directly utilise satellites for their businesses. Orbital Astronautics is currently maturing a satellite batch production facility targeting constellation markets and is building its own satellite constellation to provide low-latency access and autonomous operations services for customers satellites.

For more information visit https://orbastro.com/


23rd September 2021 – Aliena and OrbAstro Announce Service Agreement for In-Orbit Demonstration Mission of Propulsion System on 12U Satellite

Agreement between international newspace pioneers will pilot a cutting-edge smallsat propulsion system

23rd September 2021 — Aliena PTE Ltd (Aliena), a satellite propulsion provider, has signed a contract with Orbital Astronautics Ltd (OrbAstro), a satellite and in-orbit service provider, to fly its AA Multi-modal all-electric AOCS propulsion system onboard an OrbAstro ORB-12 (12U-class satellite) scheduled for launch in September 2022. The ORB-12 Strider mission will host a variety of payloads for in-orbit testing and demonstration purposes, of which the Aliena-Aurora (AA) propulsion system will be primary.

Aliena has developed a multi-modal attitude and orbit control system (AOCS) with partners from Finland, Aurora Propulsion Technologies. Sharing a common back-end architecture for the propellant, electronic control, and fluidics, the propulsion segment will comprise of Aliena’s MUlti-Staged Ignition Compact (MUSIC) Hall thruster, and Aurora’s ARM resistojets.

The AA multi-modal all-electric AOCS propulsion system will enable customers with the most demanding of mission requirements to benefit from the low-thrust-high-impulse operations of the MUSIC Hall thruster, as well as the high-thrust-low-impulse mode of operations from the ARM resistojets. This system streamlines the propulsion architecture, allowing for dual mode propulsion in a compact and integrated product for operations in formation flying satellites and advanced operations relying on propulsion as an enabler.

Beyond the AA AOCS payload, OrbAstro will be testing a variety of internally developed subsystems on the satellite, some new and some second or third generation, including:

  • Optical transceiver with two-axis precision-steering mechanism for inter-satellite communications, as part of the company’s Guardian Network constellation used for data-relay and autonomous satellite operations
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload utilising Ka-band transmitter with high-gain antenna coupled to a 4GHz bandwidth SDR, piloting a semi-active multi-static SAR mission targeting 10cm resolution 3D imaging
  • Onboard AI processing unit (100 billion neurons, 40 trillion synapses) utilised for Guardian Network satellite and space traffic management service
  • Kilowatt-class thermal management system, utilising phase change heat sink and hybrid deployable solar/radiator panels
  • Kilowatt-class long-life electrical power system
  • Compact optical imaging system providing 1-metre ground resolution

“Though we have a variety of 3U- and 6U-class satellites scheduled for launch throughout 2022, this will be our first 12U-class launch. It will serve as a significant milestone, transitioning OrbAstro into the Microsat market”, said Dr Ash Dove-Jay, CEO of OrbAstro. “We see strong potential for partnership between Aliena and OrbAstro targeting Microsat and Smallsat constellations. This mission serves as a compelling first step”.

 “Propulsion systems are key enablers for emerging satellite operations. Current solutions on the market enable certain segments for small spacecrafts, but end-users have to weigh the trade-offs in selecting their systems due to the limitations of certain systems. An integrated AOCS solution from Aurora and Aliena will allow for customers to have an array of propulsion capabilities, in a compact and integrated form-factor for fuss-free deployment” said Dr Lim Jian Wei Mark, CEO of Aliena.

“We are also proud to be able to work closely with reputable International partners from OrbAstro and Aurora Propulsion Technologies to spearhead growth in the Microsat and Smallsat community. These partnerships cement our longstanding commitment to work with International partners as we continue to add value to companies intending to democratize and commercialize space for the generations to follow.”

About Aliena

Aliena PTE Ltd is a Singapore based space propulsion provider that aims to bring space closer to home for satellite operators and terrestrial businesses. Their novel propulsion systems aim to equip disruptive next-generation satellites with advanced manoeuvring capabilities that can empower satellite operations of tomorrow. A technology spin-off from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Aliena currently operates out of a privately-owned jet propulsion test facility that gives the R&D and manufacturing environment to provide their systems to the most demanding of customers internationally.

For more information visit https://www.aliena.sg/

About OrbAstro

Orbital Astronautics Ltd is a United Kingdom and New Zealand based space technology company focused on providing “space as a service”, supporting companies looking to directly utilise satellites for their businesses. Orbital Astronautics is currently maturing a satellite batch production facility targeting constellation markets, and is building its own satellite constellation to provide low-latency access and autonomous operations services for customers satellites.

For more information visit https://orbastro.com/

About Aurora Propulsion Technologies

Aurora Propulsion Technologies’ mission is to ensure sustainable use of space, whilst prolonging the useful lifespan of satellites. Aurora’s technologies enable effective and prompt implementation of satellite position and orientation to ensure successful execution and growth of the owners’ business as well as the safe and reliable deorbiting of satellites at the end of their useful life.

For more information visit https://www.aurorapt.fi

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